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How safe is aluminum in vapes really?

Discussion in 'Ask FC' started by natural farmer, Nov 27, 2016.

  1. natural farmer

    natural farmer Well-Known Member

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    I know it has been discussed a lot but I haven't find a case that makes me ease my mind.

    I want to get a Supreme and I am just not sure. @Alexis got his and experienced that it flared his allergic reactions. If there is no off gassing at all at the temperatures used then the allergies wouldn't flare up. Boiling point plays no role at all as materials off gass way before they reach boiling points. At room temperature or below. Water starts evaporating at 0°C not 100°C for instance... All plastics off gass even when not heated. Our houses build with chemical materials off gass all day and night and we breath those invisible particles. I have not done any research yet but I have talked with people that seemed to know what they were talking about...
    So any data that shows it is actually safe?

    Do these numbers say something?
    http://home.fnal.gov/~mlwong/outgas_rev.htm
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2016
  2. invertedisdead

    invertedisdead trance-form

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    I don't know, but the temperatures involved with vaporizing are less than those cooking with aluminum. If I was concerned about it I would look at a similar (torch powered) device like the Mobius Flowerpot. @nodrog has a great video demonstrating it.
     
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  3. Hippie Dickie

    Hippie Dickie The Herbal Cube Manufacturer

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    however, the torch that heats the aluminum vape is running > 1000°F, no?

    really doesn't matter what the charts indicate, if the dude is bothered, and he has determined it's the vape and not the herb, it is an outgassing problem.
     
  4. ZC

    ZC Well-Known Member

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    812
    Aluminum is one of those materials that I just don't have enough info on to trust.

    There are a ton of different aluminum alloys but the extruded aluminum I use every day at work can flake like crazy. Sometimes I go home with aluminum dust covering my hands. Obviously all aluminum doesn't do this easily but it is enough to make me feel uneasy with the material when it comes to vapes.

    SS and TI on the other hand are both very available and much more proven when it comes to vapes. So I find it hard to get on board with aluminum when better, more proven materials exist.

    There's also a discussion about the safety of brass, since it can contain trace amounts of led. And a lot of smart people insist that brass can be perfectly safe in vapes, but I fall back on the same thinking: We have better materials available, that we don't have to question, why would I risk my health on a metal I'm not convinced of the safety of?

    It's all this that has made me stay away from the Supreme and the E-nano. I'm not convinced that they aren't safe, but I'm not convinced that they're safe either and I have no reason to worry about them when I have 20 other vapes that I don't have to be concerned about.

    Vape manufacturers using aluminum or brass are prioritizing ease of machining and cost over proven safety IMO. Aluminum is soft and easy to machine but that also means its more likely to chip away with normal wear and tear.

    I'd be happy to pay $200+ to get a stainless steel supreme just for my peace of mind. Plus it might work via an induction cooktop which would be a neat bonus.
     
  5. Baron23

    Baron23 Well-Known Member

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    I think their motives may be a bit more pure. Aluminum has a thermal coefficient an order of magnitude times greater than Ti and SS.

    When making a torch powered vape, this is an important factor IMO.
     
  6. KeroZen

    KeroZen Chronic vapaholic

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    Well, currently the consensus is precisely that you shouldn't put say aluminum foil in your oven, and you should reserve aluminum kitchenware for the occasional camping trip (because it's lighter to carry in your backpack) and not for everyday use.

    There is also quite a lot of controversy about the link between aluminum and Alzheimer's disease. Is it founded or not, I can't judge, but there are scientific articles floating around and it's being actively researched.

    I also second the fact that indeed most everything "out-gasses" at room temperature. If you can smell a material it means some of its molecules went airborne and touched the receptors inside your nostrils/sinuses. Some materials can take years to lose their odor this way, and often if you shove your nose into them you can still detect a faint smell...
     
  7. invertedisdead

    invertedisdead trance-form

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    And the flame or electric coil heating a pan is?

    Hey, I don't cook with aluminum... but I doubt they will stop selling ball park franks and burritos triple wrapped in it, regardless if they prove it causes Alzheimers or not. I actually do care (well aware of these studies) but I also understand most people don't give a damn what they put in or expose their bodies to. Perhaps Ed has information on this subject since he's making the claim "it will never come close to releasing any particles whatsoever."
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2016
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  8. natural farmer

    natural farmer Well-Known Member

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    Yet again there are a few posts describing how much aluminum dust is gathering inside the unit... :(
     
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  9. Hippie Dickie

    Hippie Dickie The Herbal Cube Manufacturer

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    i never measured the flame when i used a gas stove, so i don't know - it can light a joint, so > 451°F ... electric coil should be close to the desired temperature. i think most of my stove top cooking is <390°F - which is the temp i run my Bud Toaster heater.
     
  10. invertedisdead

    invertedisdead trance-form

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    I have not seen those posts, but that is not a good sign!
    My personal opinion is almost no products on the market, especially vaporizers are tested enough. Speed to market has ruined research and development.
     
  11. natural farmer

    natural farmer Well-Known Member

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    As mentioned in an older similar thread, I think it's better to stick to known materials after all... SS, Ti, Glass, Wood...

    I also think I 'll have to pass on the Supreme for now although the price compared to the other big hitter I have in mind is much sweeter. Other big hitter/group destroyer is the Helios actually... or at least I hope it is.
     
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  12. Buildozer

    Buildozer Baked & Fried

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    I think the mass of what you're exposing that torch flame to, may ultimately make all the difference.. Considering how rapidly Aluminum takes on and disperses heat, I imagine that heating one spot of a cold, and good chunk mass of aluminum w/ a torch flame exceeding 1000F, is not necessarily the same as the aluminum being that temp, especially after you take the torch away to use it.. It has to absorb the heat at it's own pace, depending on the mass (and its own thermal properties, obviously)... Now, if we're talking about a very small mass of aluminum, like a small rod, then obviously the same flame would have a much greater and quicker effect on it.. I think the mass of the S3 can handle the heat from a butane or propane torch personally; though I do wonder about MAPP since it's so much more aggressive... Although I'm not scientist, so I can't really say if cold aluminum will or won't instantly start off-gassing from being exposed to direct torch heat exceeding 1000F, but I feel that it might not be an issue until the whole mass of aluminum reaches temps that are a concern.

    As for the different materials used in different vapes, I feel that Aluminum is safe in this use, but I couldn't say for sure.. IMO SS is perfect for vapes, and vaping temps; as is Ti... but IMO Ti seems more of a novelty at these temps, and I imagine the cost would greatly outweigh any minor benefits it could conceivably offer over SS, at these temps.. Just my opinion.. As @Baron23 already said, I'm sure he used Aluminum for practical reasons (its thermodynamic properties) since it's a torch powered vape..

    -----------

    My initial issue w/ my S3 was the rattling, because of the concern of metal flakes.. Personally, just the lack of consistency in that regard would drive me crazy as a manufacturer.. Stu's lucky his has never rattled, but it seems like most of them do.. That's still something I think he should concern about and address.. I personally have yet to see any evidence of aluminum dust w/ my S3 though.. I blow it out from both ends now and then too, onto my glossy desk, and never see any flakes.. It's possible they're stuck to some condensed vapor that made it'sway in the heat exchanger though.. Since I never have, I may do an ISO wash soon to see what that reveals.. I can't say I've seen many posts complaining about aluminum dust, but I tend to miss a lot of posts around here (generally short attention span :lol:).
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2016
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  13. natural farmer

    natural farmer Well-Known Member

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    There weren't many posts, a couple I think but I bet few people tried to see if there is any... And it could stick to condensed vapor, yeah. Especially if you heat the block with the load in.
    I am not so concerned with the off gassing to be frank, the dust that is created from inserting and removing the bowl is what concerns me mostly...
     
    ZC likes this.
  14. flyfishwino

    flyfishwino Well-Known Member

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    So, are the aluminum dosing capsules for the Mighty safe? i don't usually go over 385 F.
     
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  15. justvapin

    justvapin Enthusiastic Cannabis Consumer

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    457
    I have a Mobius Flowerpot as well. Nothing but glass and a SS screen. As clean as I have been able to find, and right now is probably my favorite. No inhaled butane, nothing in the air path at all except that screen. Supreme-like hits all day, incredible flavor and extracts as deeply as I wish. I use the camp stove method of heating and it is perfect. Too bad this thing gets no love. No wood, glue, plastic, electronics, aluminum, silicone, brass or anything else........just that SS screen. Glass heater, glass bowl.

    And I can't smell anything coming off the glass/quartz, so I assume it is not off-gassing either (though the SS screen may at some temp, I have no idea)?

    This thing hits every bit as hard as my Supreme. Seriously. And the vapor is just as smooth as well. I simply don't use my Supreme much at all since I got the Flowerpot.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2016
  16. radiant34

    radiant34 Well-Known Member

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    435
    storz and bickel uses aluminum as the heating chamber, but who knows how healthy their materials are. i mean they do claim theyre certified quality materials, but the plastic use and it's brittleness of casing really says something.
     
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  17. Baron23

    Baron23 Well-Known Member

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    Now, I expect to catch a load of backlash on this and please don't anybody take this as personally directed toward them but:

    While I deeply appreciate people's commitment to their health and concern about substances they ingest, I think its worthwhile to step back a bit and put it all into perspective. For example, I would bet that standing on a busy urban street corner on a hot sticky summer day waiting for a bus you ingest more harmful substances than a life time of vaping.

    I mean, you do see the diesel exhaust from trucks and buses, the material out-gassed from hot metal engines and catalytic converters, to your basic LA smog type stuff.

    So, the come back is "yeah, but why add to it via vaping". Good point, but there is only so much worry and fussing I want to introduce to my life and, for example, the possible out-gassing from the aluminum heat sink in my Volcano just does not make it over the bar.

    I think many people just don't know that the average person eats about 6 or more pounds of dust/dirt/soil per year and dirt ain't just soil. Also, there are numbers bandied about that the average person will breath in 48 lbs of dust in their lifetime.

    Just saying, for me its important to keep all of this in perspective lest I lose sight of the fact that life is to be lived....not just preserved (IMO :))
     
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  18. Buildozer

    Buildozer Baked & Fried

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    @natural farmer,

    I see, IME Not much particles ever make it through the S3.. The vapor resin is typically really clean (it's like 'Sublimate'), and I've never seen any aluminum dust in it before.. I'd say the main concern w/ those flakes is if you eat your AVB whole, since IMO they're likely to get caught up in it.. My main concern was flakes in the heat exchanger from the rattle.. I'm pretty careful about putting in the bowl though, since it's totally in my control.. I can't fault this vape very much, personally.. but I'd imagine that removing and inserting the coil screen in the S3's bowl may ultimately be more of an aluminum dust hazard than anything else.
     
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  19. natural farmer

    natural farmer Well-Known Member

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    And that's why some people, me included, choose to live in a rural area, away from most of the pollutants of a city. Hell, I only go to a super market for toilet paper and even that can be avoided... Soon.

    YOLO! So I prefer to extend my life as much as possible. ;)
     
  20. OldNewbie

    OldNewbie Well-Known Member

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    1,390
    I agree. I wrote in my introduction post here:
    There was no internet to swap information. There were friends who swapped stories (There is no greater expert to a person who has smoked once than the person who has smoked twice.) and The Anarchist Cookbook, that the dankless brought to mom's kitchen to follow the instructions on how to get high off of banana peels. I love the care so many here take to be safe—including on what is put in one's body. In the day, I've smoked stuff with rat droppings in it in a “pipe” make of tinfoil wrapped around a pencil to make a tube that you remove and bend. That could not have been good.​

    A lot of people smoked a lot of things through a lot of things for a lot of years. Some are still around. The concept of vaping over smoking is partially in the hope of some harm reduction. I had a hamburger for lunch from a fast food joint for lunch. Anyone want to count the carcinogens I took in?
     
  21. natural farmer

    natural farmer Well-Known Member

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    I am sure you got plenty buddy... But it's your choice and I can't do much to deter you even though your choice fills the atmosphere with CO² and methane and I have to inhale it. I'd rather eat a few veggies. Homegrown.

    FlowerPot is amazing. But it's 200$ and too fragile. Errlectric is also very expensive and needs glass as well. Supreme can be used as is. Maybe it's more dangerous because of the hot block after all rather than the aluminum it's made of.
    @Buildozer you have put my mind at ease somehow. I should probably also get an All-In-Wonder-Bowl to minimize flakes but... Most of them rattle ehh? Haven't heard it before. Maybe I can ask for a non-rattling one? :p
     
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  22. Buildozer

    Buildozer Baked & Fried

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    @natural farmer, I think it would be a shame to talk yourself out of that vape.. Alexis is definitely a very rare reported case in our world.

    Just had another thought about where this aluminum dust may very well have been coming from, regarding the few posts you mentioned seeing about it.. I use my S3 w/ 2 grommets on the bowl, which makes it so the protruding rod from the coil screen doesn't make any contact w/ the inner (bottom) plate on the heat exchanger.. I know some people like to use no grommets, and just push the bowl all the way in until that rod from the screen makes contact w/ that inner plate.. Now that I remember that, I think that rod making contact w/ that plate is probably the most likely cause for the dust in these instances.. I'd wonder how the inner plates look on the ones where people noticed the dust... I wouldn't be surprised if they were all scraped up! IIRC I think even w/ one grommet on the bowl, that rod may still make contact w/ that metal plate, but I can't be totally sure anymore since I have my bowl setup w/ 2 grommets (and don't feel like changing it to check)... I use mine w/ a j-hook a lot of times, and never see any aluminum dust in there..

    About the rattle.. The very top plate on the heat exchanger is domed from the manufacturing process, and I've gently pressed it down tightly before, and was able to have a rattle free S3, for a little while.. eventually it always came back very shortly after.. so I just gave up and got used to the rattle.. Just after my last post, I had the really obvious thought of heating it up and then smashing the top plate down snug, since the metal will expand more allowing me to smash it down more, and hopefully keep it in place from now on.. We'll see.. I'll let you know how it goes :cheers: This approach definitely only makes much more sense than pressing it cold, just to heat it up to use it and have the rattle come back :doh:
     
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  23. vapirtoo

    vapirtoo Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    I'm so glad we are discussing this.
    I've had a S3 for 6 months and I love it; except for my paranoia about aluminum vapors.
    I've never seen aluminum dust or any filings in my water tool or anywhere.
    I bought this vape to see just how hard it hits in comparison to my Daisy and Vapolution.
    I was always concerned about the danger of aluminum vapor as the vapor passes through our lungs and into our bloodstream and then our brains.

    Dementia has been found to be associated with aluminum deposits in the brain.
    I'm not selling my Supreme, but it will no longer be my daily driver.

    Let's keep the dialogue going in hopes that some real info comes to the surface.
    I mean I really love my Supreme, but I do not want to be a drooling idiot in my eighties. I'm 64 now.
    You youngins should stay away. IMHO
     
  24. Stu

    Stu Maconheiro Staff Member

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    The Volcano is probably the most analyzed vaporizer in the world. It's attempting to become an accepted cannabis delivery device for the medical community to embrace. The Volcano Medic is currently the only device approved by Health Canada for medical marijuana consumption.

    The Volcano uses an aluminum heating block.

    I'm not a rocket doctor or anything, but I don't have any concerns personally about using a vaporizer that uses aluminum as the heat exchanger. :2c:

    :peace:
     
  25. ZC

    ZC Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    812
    Honestly reports of aluminum flakes, if rare, are enough to make me never want to touch a supreme.

    I get the argument of "you deal with toxins everywhere else". But I'm not actively inhaling concentrated city pollution for 30 minutes every day. I am inhaling through my vape for 30 minutes every day.

    As for the volcano, I honestly just don't like S&B's designs or materials. I don't want plastic anywhere near my airpath.

    I have no reason to believe Health Canada's "only approved vape" means much. I don't know what it takes for health canada to approve a vape, if vape makers have to submit to them? What's the process like, what are the criteria? How many vapes have they considered?

    I don't see a peer-reviewed study on aluminum heatexchangers in vapes.


    I don't wanna harsh on anyone who see aluminum as perfectly safe -your thoughts safety and comfort level is as valid as anyones. I'm just not comfortable with it personally with the few worries I have and the lack of any real studies on the matter.

    (I had to edit this post a bit, sorry if you're replying to the original, I goofed)
     

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